Fractal Geometry in Architecture and Design / Edition 1

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Fractal geometry is the formal study of mathematical shapes that display a progression of never-ending, self-similar, meandering detail from large to small scales. It has the descriptive power to capture, explain, and enhance one's appreciation of and control over complex diversity. Natural shapes and rhythms, such as leaves, tree branching, mountain ridges, flood levels of a river, wave patterns, and nerve impulses, display this cascading behaviour. These fractal concepts are found in many fields, from physics to musical composition.
Architecture and design, concerned with control over rhythm, and with such fractal concepts as the progression of forms from a distant view down to the intimate details, can benefit from the use of this relatively new mathematical tool. Fractal geometry is a rare example of a technology that reaches into the core of design composition, allowing the architect or designer to express a complex understanding of nature.
The exposition of the book is at a level suitable for applied scientists, architects, and students with a modest background in mathematics. It is well illustrated and has numerous examples from which to learn the underlying concepts and their applications. Thus the book is addressed to a wide audience with a multiplicity of interests in new compositional ideas.

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Editorial Reviews

Bovill (architecture, U. of Maryland-College Park) demonstrates how architecture and design benefit from the use of this relatively new mathematical tool. Suitable for applied scientists, architects, and students with a modest background in mathematics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817637958
  • Publisher: Birkh?user Boston
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Series: Design Science Collection Series
  • Edition description: 1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 195
  • Sales rank: 1,303,704
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 10.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Bovill is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park. He has taught at California State University in San Luis Obispo and at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has received from the American Institute of Architects both an Education Honors Award, for technical systems integration in design instruction, and the AIA School Medal for excellence in the study of architecture.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Basic Fractals 9
3 The Fractal Dimension 23
4 Feedback and Iteration 47
5 Random Fractals, Midpoint Displacement, and Curdling 73
6 Natural and Fractal Fluctuations in Time, Noise, and Music 103
7 Fractal Concepts Applied to Architectural and Design Criticism 115
8 Fractal Concepts Applied to Design Method 157
References 189
Index 193
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